69 Tennis Pet Peeves

By Owen Lewis and Scott Barclay

How seriously you want to take these is truly up to you. Feel free to guess who wrote these as well. 

1. A match gets played. The losing player, usually the favorite in this scenario, doesn’t play very well. “This is to take nothing away from the winner,” a pundit begins, then proceeds to repeatedly take credit away from the winner by listing everything the loser did uncharacteristically badly.

2. “Siuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!”

3. A player picking the wrong side for a putaway more than once in the same match. 

4. “Richard Gasquet has one of the best backhands in the world. It’s just so nice to see one-handers on tour.”

5. “Nick Kyrgios is good for the game.”

6. The crowd “oooooh”ing when more than one slice is hit in a row in a rally.

7. Overly long toilet breaks.

8. Overly short toilet breaks.

9. Reilly Opelka’s beef with tennis media. We work really hard!! 

10. Service games in which no serves get put back in play. 

11. Watching Djokovic play a less powerful player. Tennis fans need to be protected from the inevitable massacre. 

12. Pundits focusing on Barty’s slice to an absurd degree when her serve is the more devastating shot. 

13. “Margaret Court won 24 majors…” If you want to mislead people, I suppose that’s your choice, but at least look at some of the draws.  

14. “Wimbledon is the most prestigious tournament.”

15. Commentators referring to an old match and getting the year wrong.

16. Benoit Paire tanking. 

17. The notion that beauty isn’t subjective, but that effectiveness is. “Medvedev’s backhand just looks so weird, John!”

18. The coin toss before a match to decide who serves. That’s a game of luck, come on. Have them fight for the honor. 

19. Or at least have them do rock, paper, scissors. 

20. Best out of three, obviously. Best of one is a sucker’s game. 

21. “About to join the Zoom call, buddy!” Then Scott proceeds to take another half-hour, tweeting during the process – I follow the guy! Does he know I can see his tweets?

Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

22. Acting as if it isn’t annoying that Nadal takes hours between points. Yes, the shot clock is annoying, but yes, it is a rule, and yes, he constantly takes longer than he should. 

23. Tennis Channel: “and our match of the decade is…the 2019 Wimbledon final!” The second set was a breadstick, guys. 

24. A five set match finishes. Commentator: “and that is one of the best matches YOU WILL EVER see.”

25. A player double faults on match point after a brilliant contest, and the commentators repeat a variation of “what a shame” for the next five minutes. “What a pity,” “you hate to see it end that way,” “how must they be feeling?” For God’s sake, we get it. 

26. Commentators just kind of ignoring that the return of serve is a relevant factor in matches. 

27. Brad Gilbert’s nicknames for players. They are not and have never been funny.

28. The fact that Tennis Channel or Tennis.com hasn’t reached out to us to offer paying our writers handsome salaries yet. 

29. Putting your heart and soul into a piece, proudly posting it on Twitter, then checking back in an hour and seeing that it has more obligatory retweets than likes. 

30. Alongside name, age, ranking and titles won, why don’t they tell us every player’s favourite popcorn flavour? This is the important info we really need.

31. Ben Rothenberg taking shots at best of five set tennis whenever he’s bored.

32. That photo of Ash Barty as a child holding a trophy. Yes, I have seen that before!

33. Kyrgios having more Australian Open titles than Andy Murray.

34. Players interrupting the flow of a match to talk to the umpire. It raises the possibility of a match-altering disagreement. It also makes me cringe. 

35. “American men’s tennis is really on the rise.”

36. Injuries. 

37. The lack of opinion pieces in tennis media. There are match reports all over the place that take three minutes to read and provoke no thought. I saw the stat sheet as well, ESPN Associated Press. I know Barty hit 24 winners. 

38. John McEnroe’s commentating. 

39. Yes, we all know Diego Schwartzman is short.

40. Yes, we all know John Isner is tall.

41. Yes, we all know Andy Murray has a metal hip.

42. Yes, we all know you think the game is corrupt, Pavvy.

43. Yes, we all know you think one-handed backhands are pretty. They still tend to suck at returning serve. I mean, explain this. 

This is talking about Gasquet. GASQUET.

44. Owen mentioning Sorribes Tormo every five seconds. 

45. Scott tweeting that stupid “HAPPY ANDY MURRAY PLAYS A TENNIS MATCH TODAY DAAAAAY!” thing only for Murray to lose in the first round of the event.

46. Owen suggesting we write a list of 69 tennis pet peeves and us getting stuck on 46 for ages.

47. See 46. 

48. The fact that Roger Federer hasn’t responded to our requests for an interview. Unbelievable. 

49. When Scott’s “HAPPY ANDY MURRAY PLAYS A TENNIS MATCH TODAY DAAAAAY!” tweet gets two hundred likes and your thoughtful take on Sorribes Tormo gets five. 

50. People who disrespect Challenger events.

51. As Nadal and Djokovic enter the peak phase of their latest fantastic match, a tweet pops up on the timeline about how Paolo Lorenzi is on the upswing in a Challenger event. 

52. Fans disparaging one surface or another based on which Big Three member they like the best. All surfaces are fantastic and deserve to be treated with respect.

53. Clay courts. Why anyone would want to play on mud is beyond me. 

54. The lack of Dominic Thiem currently on the tour. 

55. Rain delays. Technology has come a long way. Forget a roof, find a way to control the weather, tennis. 

56. Seeing NFTs in the tennis sphere, in any context. Our sacred bubble must be protected. Talking to you, Rafa and Stan. 

57. The lack of ridicule for Wawrinka’s new profile picture. It’s a monkey. AN ANIMATED MONKEY. 

58. The fact Gael Monfils doesn’t have a major title.

59. The fact Juan Martin del Potro only has one major title.

60. The lack of adequate praise for the Nadal-Verdasco 2009 Australian Open semifinal as the greatest tennis match of all time. 

61. Ratio-ing John Isner on Twitter and seeing that people have stopped heralding you for it a mere two years later. 

62. “Maybe if they break a racket, that’ll relieve some of their frustration!” Destruction of equipment that costs hundreds of dollars, toddler-tantrum style? Hell yeah, encourage that!

63. People who dislike a good racket smash.

64. Shut up, Scott, this is supposed to be collaborative!!!

65. A commentator notices a trend on one point, starts to talk about how important and meaningful and incredible that trend is, completely unaware that the match has changed while they’ve been talking. 

66. The spinelessness of the ATP, from refusing to do anything to put pressure on the CCP to give better evidence of Peng Shuai’s well-being to refusing to acknowledge that Zverev is under credible accusations of domestic abuse. Tennis TV tweeted “Go Sascha” the other day. 

67. Patrick Moratoglou. 

68. The repeated use of “underrated” such that the thing in question becomes overrated. Like Nadal’s volleys. 

69. The fact that tennis media seems to think making 69 jokes is funny. We know Popcorn Tennis is on the 69th day of its lifespan, but come on, have some professionalism.


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